Of Sorcerers and Men: Tolkien and the Roots of Modern Fantasy Literature (Portable Professor Series)

Overview

From the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the Harry Potter series, fantasy novels have captured the imagination of millions of readers, and figure prominently on any list of best-loved books. The masters of the genre, authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip Pullman, and J.K. Rowling, have brought to life unforgettable characters who dwell in richly detailed, magical worlds, which run according to their own internal logic. In Of Sorcerers and Men, Professor Michael D.C. Drout leads a fascinating tour...

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Overview

From the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the Harry Potter series, fantasy novels have captured the imagination of millions of readers, and figure prominently on any list of best-loved books. The masters of the genre, authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Philip Pullman, and J.K. Rowling, have brought to life unforgettable characters who dwell in richly detailed, magical worlds, which run according to their own internal logic. In Of Sorcerers and Men, Professor Michael D.C. Drout leads a fascinating tour of the masterworks that defined the genre, paying particular attention to the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, the godfather of fantasy literature as we know it today. Drout's deft assessment provides deeper insights into these beloved creations, and helps readers gain a better understanding of what makes fantasy literature so special.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760785232
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 10/23/2006
  • Series: Portable Professor Series
  • Pages: 72
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 2.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael D.C. Drout is an associate professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he teaches courses in Old and Middle English, medieval literature, fantasy, and science fiction. The author of a number of books on Anglo-Saxon history and literature, he is also a founding editor of the journal Tolkien Studies and the editor of the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge, 2006). He has published articles on Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books and Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising series of children's fantasy novels.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2008

    Not your grandfather's lit class

    Professor Drout clearly shows his enthusiasm, expertise and deftness with language in this wonderful series of lessons. My Tolkien-fanatic 13yr old son and I listened to the lectures over the course of a few weeks. Enthralled is hardly the word. Drout's ability to speak so animatedly and clearly about this subject is rare in academia. There is nothing dry, boring or plodding to fear--sign up. Enjoy. You'll be inspired, entertained, amazed. And your knowledge of all things Tolkien, and related, with certianly increase!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Insightful, Comprehensive, Sweeping, Easy-Listening Tolkien Overview

    This is a 'must own and listen' CD set for those wishing a historic perspective of J.R. Tolkien, fantasy literature, and 'The Lord of the Rings.' I give this series an A+ for easy listening, historic sweep, and a insights on the LOTR trilogy. I was almost spellbound listening to Dr. Drout explain Tolkien's research into ancient words, fantasy literature, and development of the LOTR. In these CDs you will understand where Tolkien originated names for key characters, cities, and places. You'll discover how he originated the concept of talking trees, or 'Ents.' You'll better understand his views on God's providence, interventions on behalf of mankind, and inspiration to high ideals. You will see the importance of coalition wisdom in 'Fellowship of the Ring', the various forms of evil in 'The Two Towers,' and opposing views on war in 'The Return of the King'. You'll see the importance of 3 keynotes themes in fantasy literature: Nostalgiac return to a wonderful time-place, escape from daily trials, and supernatural intervention. You will begin to understand the depth of Tolkien's deep personal faith in God, and how he wove Christian faith into the LOTR trilogy. In summary, this Portable Professor series is world class: Profound, easy listening, historically sweeping. Better yet, you will understand Tolkien's view on ethics, war, and the daily issues weighing on the heart of man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I got this course because I love Tolkien's work, but I confess I thought it might be hard to make a 'serious' college-level course out of it. Prof. Drout proved me wrong with his inside & out knowledge of all types of literature from Homer to Beowulf to the present. Beware, he is heavily plot-focused on all the works he covers - and gives away all but a few endings - rather than taking a purely critical approach. But I enjoyed that a lot, since I had not read any of LeGuin, Holdstock, Cooper, Borges, Garcia Marquez, etc. and needed the primers. Drout shows very clearly how fantasy literature is related to, and distinct from, classical, modernist, and other types of literature, and why it is so popular today. He shows how it is reaching back to ancient oral traditions, and thus connecting with many themes important to average readers that much current literature has abandoned, such as the nature of evil and how to defeat it, the afterlife and the meaning of death, the experience of magic in everyday life, etc. Drout is an enjoyable, fast-paced lecturer to listen to, and at the very least any lover of Tolkien will really appreciate his command of the material and many insights into LOTR and other works.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2007

    Favorite of the Portable Professor series

    I have listened to Prof. Drout's 'Of Sorcerers and Men' lectures many times now and enjoyed them every time. I have always loved fantasy literature but these lectures have helped me to read fantasy in a completely new light as well as for enjoyment. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

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